MRI Software Eases Payment Process for Affordable Housing Clients

In 1971, Fred and Sid Goodman founded Management Reports Incorporated with the intention to provide timely, accurate reporting for the property management industry. Almost fifty years later, MRI is a global powerhouse providing business management enterprise solutions to over 17,000 clients spanning five continents. While they’ve grown in response to evolving market needs, they’ve made staying true to their original vision a promise to their customers.

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They offer an open and flexible ecosystem of property management and accounting software designed to optimize financial processes and analysis; strategic planning and forecasting; portfolio management and compliance oversight. According to Patrick Ghilani, CEO of MRI Software, real estate is about much more than property. He has guided the company through three ownership transfers; a recent period of rapid growth; and the challenge of convincing new customers that technology has an important role to play in real estate.

“Technology adoption is held back by the mindset that commercial real estate [CRE], including REITs, is only about buildings and other physical structures,” the company shared in a 2017 blog post. “In reality, CRE is about data – the collection, analyzing and sharing of vast amounts of data. This realization is vital to being a leader in the competitive world.”

The Cleveland-based company was first acquired by Intuit in 2002 and renamed Intuit Real Estate Solutions (IRES). Seven years later, it was sold to Vista Equity Partners for $128 million in cash. In a written statement, Vista shared that customers strongly identified with the company’s long-standing reputation and, in honor of that commitment, rebranded IRES as MRI Software (Management Reports International).

After GI Partners picked up MRI from Vista Partners in 2015, the business took a new interest in expansion through acquisitions and the development of strategic partnerships. In 2017, TA Associates came on board as an equity partner after buying a 50 percent stake in MRI and committed to helping the company achieve that goal. Over the last four years, the real estate software provider has purchased 22 companies ranging from cloud-based condominium solutions (eCondoSystems); to accounting and compliance software (IPM Software); and real estate leasing platform products (ProLease).

In a 2017 interview, Ghilani shared his feelings about the company's acquisition strategy: "The global real estate sector is growing at unprecedented rates, with investors and capital seamlessly crossing borders and spanning continents," he said. "These… acquisitions make our company significantly larger in headcount, revenue, and profitability."

The company has also recently announced an expanded partnership agreement with accounts payable and payment automation solutions provider, AvidXchange. As part of MRI’s plan to help their affordable housing clients manage their multi-family compliance challenges and inventory shortages, their AvidXchange partnership will “enable an integrated, fully-embedded payments experience.”

“AvidXchange will help affordable housing owners spend less time on paperwork and more time focused on the properties they manage,” said Michael Praeger, CEO and co-founder of AvidXchange, in a prepared statement. “With AvidXchange and MRI’s integrated technology, they’ll have automated AP and payment processes that are scalable, better positioning MRI customers to expand portfolios and make affordable housing available to more people.”

MRI focuses on providing effective software solutions for their real estate clients so they can, in turn, concentrate on building strong, vibrant communities while optimizing their business operations.